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Coronavirus puts Boulder Collegians' season in limbo

 
Series: Boulder Collegians | Story 1

March 25, 2020

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The possibility of ongoing restrictions due to coronavirus has put the Collegians 2020 season in jeopardy.

In what has been a difficult time for baseball fans, the Boulder Collegians are hoping their 2020 season won't contribute to the list of disappointments. Owner and General Manager Matt Jensen, a former assistant coach at Niwot High School and head coach at Monarch High, is hopeful but prepared for the worst as their summer season nears.

Fortunately for the Collegians, they have the luxury of time compared to the not-so-fortunate spring programs across the country. High school teams in Colorado won't see the diamond sooner than April 18 and the NCAA opted to cut its baseball season short.

"We're going to do everything we can to make it (the season) happen," said Jensen, who enters his eighth season overseeing the Collegians. "But just like spring, this is out of our hands."

When all you can do is wash your hands and stay home, there's not much the Collegians can control. Jensen said they will have to defer to their governing body, the National Baseball Congress, and its verdict for the 2020 season.

"If they shut down the NBC World Series, there's a good chance we may have to discuss with our league shutting things down," Jensen said.

If the summer season does progress as usual, Jensen believes there is a silver lining for his club. The Collegians would benefit from a hungry group of ballplayers and more specifically, pitchers seeking innings. Jensen plans to work with his recruiting staff to check back in with college coaches across the country who may normally prohibit their pitchers from pitching for a summer season. An evolving roster isn't the worst scenario for Boulder.

"If we get some good ball players to fall into our laps, that will be a good problem when and if the season comes," Jensen said.

On the very possible prospect of the season's termination, Jensen said it wouldn't be much of a logistical problem with the limited travel and schedule for a summer season. The Collegians would however be in a tough spot financially as the team largely depends on player fees for club operating costs.

Looking over the team in the dugout will be former Collegians' pitching coach and now first-year manager Mark Goodman. Jensen believes it has been a long time coming for Goodman and hopes the change will resurrect the Collegians' culture.

From the players' perspective, while their situation is unfavorable, it does allow them an opportunity to improve their craft.

"I think they have a very unique opportunity to build their skills and fine tune (them) and take their game to the next level for the next season," Jensen said.

But for now, the only thing the Collegians can exercise is patience.

"Obviously they are itching to play, and that's a bummer," Jensen said. "...I feel for those guys."

If the season does come to fruition, a little baseball may be just what the community needs. A spring without sport is certainly strange, and the boys of summer could bring all the more joy to Scott Carpenter Park.

 

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